United Arab Emirates, World

American Woman Was Sent To Jail For Insulting United Arab Emirates

Diana Al Koud, an American lady was arrested in the allegation of insulting the United Arab Emirates at the airstrip and was sent to the jail.

According to the reports, the 25-year-old claims she did not insult anyone and she was arrested for refusing help from two guys who approached her at Abu Dhabi’s airstrip.  She was traveling unaccompanied in the country.

The arraignment papers of the American woman state that Diana Al Koud (ديانا أيمن الكود) insulted the government of the country when she was waiting for the cab at the airport. Insulting the administration of the country is considered against the law and is an offense in the United Arab Emirates.

After spending a period of about two months behind the prison, she had a trial at the Supreme Court earlier in the following week.

According to The National, Diana told the judge that she had another flight to go on board at about 1:30am and she was at the airport when the two men came to her and tried to help her. She said she turned down to engage with them and nothing else happened.

The government-owned newspaper says except it happened, the lady was taken into the custody and was charged with an offense. It certainly sounds a weird story which maybe raising the distress regarding women who travel alone in the United Arab Emirates.

The newspaper does not have much detail as the lady did not choose to appoint an attorney to defend her in the case nor did accept the representation appointed by the court. The National further states Diana had no family member at the time of her trial at the court, and also no one from the American embassy was present there.

On the other hand, a representative from Department of the State briefed Travel + Leisure that they are aware of the current court hearing for an American national apprehended in accusation for insulting the Government of UAE.  Safety and security of American citizens in a foreign country is a serious matter for the United States. However, they are satisfied with all appropriate consular help the American Embassy in Abu Dhabi is providing.

Diana was asked to pay the penalty and be released from lockup. However, the judgment is delayed to be announced till the first week of May 2016.

The records reveal Diana’s case is not the first case of being thrown in the jail in the charges of insulting the UAE government or the country. Several travelers in the past have committed the same crime and were sent to the jail. The law of United Arab Emirates applies strict decrees regarding expressions and so insulting the leaders or the state in any form can get the offender into the jail and make them pay heavy monetary penalties

In addition, any foreigners can also face court cases and can be sent to the jail for violating the holy month of Ramadan by food or drink consumption in fasting hours. There is also a four-year punishment behind the jail for having some anesthetic mediation such as codeine or cold and flu medicine. 

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